CY 2020 Implores GST to settle down

- By A Tax Professional

Well, a blog from a tax professional would not be different musings. Calendar 2019 held on to GST like the Moon which eclipsed the Sun rays from reaching Mother Earth. A calendar 2019 that is just nearing its end which focused on the Technological aspect more than the Tax framework for which it exists. Yes colleagues, we spent more time this year on the form ( IT backbone of the Tax ) more than addressing framework issues that need more attention.

We practically went through the year looking at March, July, November and December et al for filing Annual returns. We scraped through every element of the statutory forms and we asked for more simplicity and easy to work info trace.

While the world waited in baited breath to see whether our GST was headed to be canned, the Indian resolve of holding out has paid off partly. We have seen through the difficult days of GSTR-2A credit recos, E-Way bill controversies, need to punish those thrive on holes in a honest tax system etc and we have just crossed the woods. As Thomas Frost said: “We have miles to go before we sleep” and with a destination in mind, let us take an informed roll call of the de minimis for 2020 so that we enjoy our largest IDT reform settling down.

A) Let us file Returns ( Annual) and let the assessment process begin.( Do ) ( Please for heaven sake 2017-18)

B) Let the States come more to the forefront than the tax being Union-driven. Why cannot we ask States to address GST Techincal issues solutions and place pilot projects for them. ( Example One State X addresses Composite / Mixed supply issue with solutions and place it independently to the Council and Law Committee instead of a joint team) (Do more)

C ) Let us not keep tinkering with rates anymore on a quick basis. Let us wait to get full impact of measures to pump up economy, fructify before we increase the rates. ( Avoid / Refrain)

D ) Let us not make it appear that the Technical might of Tax backbone ( data mining, analytics ) will unleash a raid raj ( Do less ). Any dishonest activity can be punished according to law without making it appear like a Tiger hunt.

E) Advance Rulings need to be made more sincere in understanding commercial practices rather than hearing a case to decide a higher rate of Tax. ( Refraining)

F ) Overarching acceptance of business – Credits and not creating smoke screens. Example ITC disallowance in case IUM methods of expense distribution is adopted.

G ) Compensation Cess (addressed to States) is not an Insurance policy but only a silent supporter. The States will have to think why this assured growth in collections at a percentage cannot be renegotiated.

Well the above are just de minimis. We can polish the above with serious focus on key issues which need legislative decisions. ( Example -Inter Office Charges , ISD and Staff Costs).

As the clarion call of a new year nears us let us do the basics ( listed above ) right and steer our greatest reform into steady waters. By 2021 we can see robust collections arising out of resurgent economy in full cry.

Let us stand together with the Indian Revenue so that GST succeeds and consequently our tax is Good and Simple tax.

Let’s join hands with TIOLAWARDS 2020 to celebrate a good & simple tax in the making!